Micromorphological, geochemical, and diagenetic characterization of sirenian ribs preserved in the Late Miocene paleontological site of Cessaniti (southern Calabria, Italy)
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- Guido, A., Marra, A.C., Mastandrea, A. et al. Facies (2012) 58: 179. doi:10.1007/s10347-011-0284-y
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The site of Cessaniti (Vibo Valentia, Italy) has been well known since the 19th century for the richness and good preservation of its Miocene fauna and flora. The sedimentary succession of the site represents a paralic system that evolved toward an open-marine environment recording the Tortonian transgression. The fossil assemblage contains rich invertebrate (corals, bivalves, gastropods, brachiopods, echinoids, benthic and planktonic foraminifers) and vertebrate faunas (proboscideans, rhinoceroses, giraffids, bovids, sirenids, marine turtles, and fish remains). The fossils recovered at the Cessaniti site have a relevant role in phylogenetic studies and paleogeographic reconstructions of Late Miocene environments of the southern Italy. This research is focused on the microstructure and preservation state of the fossil bones. Samples of Metaxytherium sp. bones have been analyzed to understand the diagenetic profile of the bone assemblages that characterizes the taphonomic history of the Cessaniti site. The analyses provided a comprehensive account of how bone mineral (bioapatite) has been altered and demonstrated that the post-burial processes did not significantly affect the micromorphological and biogeochemical features of the bones. The excellent preservation state of the bones strengthens the importance of the Cessaniti site for studies of the Mediterranean Miocene vertebrate fauna.